Best Skateboard Bearings

Skateboard Bearings Hero

You wanna go fast? You gotta have killer bearings. Skateboard bearings are responsible for allowing your wheels to roll smoothly and with as friction as possible. This allows you to get the speed you need to clear those larger stair sets, get bigger air out of the bowl, or simply move around the streets with less effort.

There are a bunch of bearings on the market nowadays, but it’s better to just ignore most of them. Below are some of the best skateboard bearings on the market, and an explanation of what sets them apart. Lower in the article, I’ll opine on how to choose a set for your style of skating.

Best for Transitions

Bones Swiss Ceramic Skateboard Bearings

By far, the Bones Swiss Ceramic Skateboard bearings are our top pick for the best skateboard bearings available on the market today. The reputation of the Bones brand coupled with its precision manufacturing based in Switzerland puts Bones Swiss Ceramic bearings in a class of its own for skaters who can afford the higher price tag.

These are pricey. If you are looking for a cheaper ceramic alternative, check out Bronson’s ceramics.

Best for Street

Bronson G3 Skateboard Bearings

Bronson’s G3 Bearings, there newer all-around bearing, is a great option for street skaters looking for something that can withstand abuse.

The bearings feature deep groove raceways that reduce side impact damage and breakage, as well as straight edge, removable frictionless shields that resist pops, hold in oil and keep out dirt and moisture

All Recommended Skateboard Bearings

The two bearings we highlighted above are our quick picks for great options for transition and street, we’ll get into more details on Bones and Bronson and provide a wider range of recommendations for good skateboard bearings. We’ll also provide some guidance on choosing the best bearings for what you’ll be skating.

Bones Bearings

Generally considered the best skateboard bearings brand in the world, Bones Bearings has been around since 1981 as a brand within the Powell Peralta skateboard company. Bones Bearings has established a reputation over the decades as offering the best-performing and longest-lasting skateboard bearings with their Bones Reds and Bones Swiss skateboard bearing product lines.

Not only has Bones Bearings been around for a long time while maintaining its reputation for superiority, but they are also a sponsor of some of the most famous skateboarders in the world. The list of pro skaters who ride Bones and their products is much too large to list.

Bones Reds Skateboard Bearings

Bones Reds are the best-selling skateboard bearings in the entire world. The main reason for this is that they are tough and versatile everyday skateboard bearings that are affordable.

Bones Reds are constructed of steel and manufactured in China. Also, Bones Reds come pre-lubricated with Speed Cream Racing Lubricant and they are easy to clean and maintain. If well taken care of, they make the perfect all-around bearings that are ideal for street, transition, and/or freestyle skateboarders.


  • Can be used for any style of skateboarding
  • Constructed from high-quality steelIncredibly affordable
  • Incredibly affordable


  • Lubrication needs to be consistently reapplied
  • Made in China

Bones Swiss Bearings

Bones Swiss Bearings are the best-selling “high-quality bearings” in the entire world. Manufactured from high-quality steel in Switzerland, Bones Swiss skateboard bearings are a favorite for skateboarders that are looking for high-performing skateboard bearings that can last years.

Bones Swiss skateboard bearings come pre-lubricated with Speed cream racing lubricant, and if properly maintained, they can make a great investment by being the only set of skateboard bearings you will need for many years.


  • Made with high-quality steel
  • Precision machined in Switzerland
  • Come pre-lubricated with Speed cream racing lubricant


  • More expensive than other bearings available on the market

Bones Swiss Ceramic Skateboard Bearings

Like we said above, these are the cream of the crop, particularly if you are looking for fast-as-hell bearing for ramp and bowl skating.

Bones Swiss Ceramic Skateboard bearings are arguably the best high-end ceramic bearings available on the market. They are waterproof and rustproof, and they provide skaters with an extra smooth ride.

Bones Swiss Ceramic Skateboard bearings may be best used for longboarders, transition-style skaters, and freestyle skaters. Some heavier skaters – both in weight and style – report cracking the ceramics when coming off tall drops, like stair sets. If you are a bigger or really aggressive street skater, you might want to look into a steel bearing.


  • Waterproof and rustproof
  • Produces an incredibly smooth ride
  • Long-lasting and extremely durable


  • Very pricey

Bronson Speed Co.

Death Race Fast as Shit
Bronson Speed Co. is one of the sponsors of the annual Death Race in San Diego. Here’s a bit of Bronson propaganda from the event. Love it.

Bronson Speed Co. is based out of Santa Cruz, California, and is distributed by the same company Santa Cruz Skateboards, Snowboards, and Surfboards, as well as Independent and Krux branded skateboard trucks.

They sponsored a lot of underground skateboard events — like the annual Death Rance — which gives them special status in the skateboarding universe and our hearts. They also make a solid product or two.

Bronson G3 Skateboard Bearings

Like I said above, Bronson G3 bearings are a good choice for all-around skaters and street skaters. They are designed with several features aimed at improving the performance and durability of the bearings, which makes for a good all-around ride.

The deep groove raceway allows the balls to roll deeply in the raceway channels, which reduces the risk of side impact damage and breakage. The straight edge frictionless shields are designed to be pop-off resistant and keep oil in while keeping dirt and moisture out, making them easy to clean.

The micro groove raceway surfaces are linear and aim to improve bearing lubrication, speed, and spin. The max impact cage design is a custom cage that is designed to keep the balls precision spaced and circulating oil. The “balls out” technology eliminates shield and cage contact on impact, which is intended to make the bearing perform well at high speeds.


  • Specialized design to keep lubrication evenly applied
  • Long-lasting and extra-durable bearings
  • Affordable price


  • Some skaters have reported cracks in the cages of their bearings after a few months of use. (Did not impede performance)

Bronson Raw Skateboard Bearings

Like I said above, Bronson G3 bearings are a good choice for all-around skaters and street skaters. They are designed with several features aimed at improving the performance and durability of the bearings, which makes for a good all-around ride.

If you like taking the shields off your bearings, Bronson Raw Skateboard Bearings are a solid choice. As far as I know, they are the only bearings that are sold without shields (I could be wrong), which sounds pretty sweet when you roll through the park.

These bearings feature a unique shieldless design, eliminating the risk of damage or pop-off from traditional shields. The tungsten-coated races reduce dirt and dust buildup, providing a fast and smooth ride. With audible speed technology, these bearings are designed to enhance the sound of speed.

The deep groove raceways and linear micro-groove surfaces improve bearing lubrication and speed, while the custom cage design helps keep the balls precision spaced and oil circulating. These bearings offer a high-performance option for skateboarders looking for a shieldless and fast-spinning option.


  • Fast and durable
  • Unique design and sound (no shields)


  • A little more expensive than comparable bearings from other brands
  • Not everyone likes the sound of shieldless bearings
  • May require more frequent cleaning

Bronson Next Generation Ceramic Skateboard Bearings

Bronson Ceramic bearings are high-quality bearings that have built a reputation of being an affordable ceramic bearing option that the everyday park skater can rely on.

Skaters that spend most of their time in the park and off the streets could benefit from using Bronson Ceramic bearings. I’m still a fan of Bones ceramic bearings, but these are nearly half the price, which is pretty compelling.

The Bronson ceramics kit includes a cleaning unit case, which doubles as a cleaning tool when following the instructions provided. The bearings feature high-density ceramic balls are designed to offer smooth, fast and durable performance. The deep groove raceways allow the balls to roll deeply, reducing side impact damage and breakage.

The straight-edge frictionless shields are pop-off resistant, keeping oil in and dirt and moisture out, making them easy to clean. The max impact cage design features a non-distortion custom cage that keeps the balls precision spaced and promotes oil circulation, while the linear micro-groove surfaces improve bearing lubrication, speed, and spin.


  • (Relatively) affordable ceramic bearing option
  • Extra smooth ride
  • Extremely fast


  • Skaters may see a noticeable reduction in speed after some time of use, particularly if they aren’t regularly cleaned (to be expected)

How to Choose Skateboard Bearings

There are a few key factors that every skater should consider when looking for the perfect bearings for their setup. Here is an explanation of how these different elements could impact your decision when looking to purchase the best skateboard bearings for you.

ABEC Rating

The ABEC rating for skateboard bearings is measured on a scale of 1 to 9 using only the odd numbers. The higher the number, the tighter the tolerance of the bearing.

There is a common misconception that the higher the ABEC rating is for a skateboard bearing, the better and faster the bearing is. This is partially true, however, unless you plan to skateboard down the side of a mountain reaching speeds of 60+ mph, typically, any APEC rating over APEC 3 is overkill.

Don’t fall for gimmicks where companies advertise APEC 5 or 7 as the best skateboard bearings and then try to sell them to you at an overly-inflated price.

Ceramic bearings vs steel bearings

Ceramic and steel are two different materials used to make skateboard bearings. Both materials have their own unique characteristics that affect the performance and durability of the bearings.

Ceramic bearings are made from high-density ceramic balls that are precision-made using a Hot Isostatic Pressure Sintering (HIPS) process. These bearings are known for their super-fast, smooth-rolling, and durable performance. Ceramic bearings also have the advantage of being resistant to water, oxidation, and corrosion, which can extend their lifespan. However, ceramic bearings are typically more expensive than steel bearings and may not be as durable in harsh environments.

Steel bearings, on the other hand, are made from high-grade steel balls and races. They are known for their affordability and durability, making them a popular choice among skaters. Steel bearings are also more resistant to impact and wear, making them a good option for skaters who are looking for a more rugged and long-lasting bearing. However, steel bearings may not roll as smoothly as ceramic bearings, and they may be more prone to rust and corrosion over time.

Personally, I prefer ceramic bearings on my park boards, where I’m mostly skating transitions, and steel bearings on my street boards. I’m a fairly large person (6 feet tall and 190 pounds), so I would worry about breaking ceramics while street skating (and I’m not alone in that concern).

Street vs transition skating

Many street skaters who spend a lot of time on stair sets often complain that although ceramic bearings are considered stronger than steel bearings, they can be more prone to cracking, chipping, and breaking in high-impact skateboarding.

The amount of force that is applied to a skateboard when a skateboarder clears a large stair set at a high speed is immense. This incredible amount of force applied over and over can crack ceramic bearings and eventually cause them to break.

Shielded bearings vs shieldless bearings

Shielded skateboard bearings have a metal shield on either one or both sides of the bearing to protect the balls and retain lubricant inside. On the other hand, unshielded skateboard bearings, also known as “open” or “shield-free” bearings, do not have any shields and allow for more direct contact between the balls and the elements.

Shielded bearings are typically considered more durable and better suited for dirty or humid environments, as the shields help prevent contaminants from entering the bearing and interfering with performance. Unshielded bearings, on the other hand, are generally faster and offer a more direct and responsive feel, but may require more frequent cleaning and maintenance to maintain optimal performance.

Ultimately, the choice between shielded and unshielded bearings will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the skater, as well as the conditions in which they will be used.

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